Xcel using bus-sized batteries to store wind energy Wind turbines can generate electricity when the wind is blowing, but they don't when it's calm. That's one of the biggest problems with the alternative energy source. But now, Xcel Energy is experimenting with gigantic batteries as a way to solve one of wind power's most vexing problems.6:50 a.m.
Commentator ponders a Minnesota ritual It's cold across the region this morning. And the frosty weather has commentator Peter Smith thinking about a certain winter ritual in Minnesota.6:55 a.m.
Canvassing Board to make decision on rejected absentee ballots The State Canvassing Board is expected to order a recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race when it meets today Tuesday in St. Paul. Democrat Al Franken's campaign will also make a last ditch plea that the board examine rejected absentee ballots before certifying the race results.7:20 a.m.
Professor's pre-recount analysis is that Franken to get more votes When the recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race gets going, one of the people watching closely will be Dartmouth Professor of Government Michael Herron.
MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Herron, who's an expert on voting patterns and ballot abnormalities.
He and two other researchers examined the votes cast in Minnesota this year and analyzed how a recount might turn out.7:25 a.m.
Road Trip: GM, Ford, Chrysler Travel To Capitol Hill
Congress and the White House say they want to do something to help the nation's automakers, which are close to insolvency. Executives from Ford, GM and Chrysler will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to plead their case. But there is no consensus on what to do for Detroit. It may be next year before Washington acts, which the industry fears may be too late.
Demand From Emerging Markets Helps Automakers
There's a huge demand for cars in developing countries. The Economist magazine describes Brazil, Russia, India and China as "the car industry's big hope." Matthew Symonds, the lead author of the report, tells Steve Inskeep that such countries represent growth opportunities for Detroit's Big Three automakers.
Brothers Honored For 'Chitty Chitty,' Other Ditties
Songwriting brothers Richard and Robert Sherman were honored at the White House Monday for all the songs they've written for family movies, including the theme for the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The brothers, who also wrote "It's a Small World (After All)," received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush.
How Will Obama Help College Costs?
President-elect Obama will take office at a time when a college education is both more valuable and more expensive than ever. To deliver aid, he could create an education tax credit, increase Pell Grant awards or simply "fix the economy."
Cobbler's Business Steps Up During Thrifty Times
As Americans trim their budgets, some businesses are ready for thrifty activity. In St. Louis, a shoe repair shop has seen business skyrocket as the economy prompts more customers to have shoes fixed instead of buying new ones. Jeff Lipson of Cobblestone Shoe Repair is a third-generation cobbler, and he's seeing a new type of customer.
Chinese Warship In Vietnam On Friendly Port Call
Vietnam hosted what it described as the first official port visit by a Chinese warship. The frigate docked Tuesday in the central Vietnamese city of Danang, which is where the first U.S. soldiers went ashore in 1965. Vietnam and China are working on improving their sometimes strained relations, but many Vietnamese distrust China.
Saudi Supertanker Hijacked By Somali Pirates
Somali pirates seized a supertanker carrying $100 million worth of Saudi oil Saturday. The ship — which is three times the size of an aircraft carrier — was nearly 500 miles off Africa's coast when it was hijacked in waters patrolled by foreign navies. Its 25 crew members are being held hostage.
New Details Surface About Georgia-Russia War
In the three months since the conflict between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, details have come to light about how and why Georgia ended up going head-to-head against the much larger Russian army.
Yahoo Founder Jerry Yang To Step Down As CEO
Internet search engine Yahoo is looking for a new CEO. The current chief executive, Jerry Yang, is stepping down. Yang co-founded the company but he's only been CEO for a year and a half. During his short tenure, he infuriated shareholders by stopping a deal with Microsoft, which offered to buy Yahoo for $31 a share. Yahoo's stock price is now trading at a third of that. With Yang leaving the corner office, some say a deal with Microsoft is inevitable. Yang will have a seat on the board.
GM's Opel Wants German Loan Guarantees
Executives from General Motor's European unit, Opel, met Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They want more than $1 billion in loan guarantees from the German government. Opel is seeking the guarantees because the company expects difficult credit conditions on the open market due to the world financial crisis.